The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland (ACP) has declared that given the difficulties and many rules involved in opening churches for Mass and keeping congregations safe, this is an unbearable responsibility for too many priests.
In some cases the ACP says that priests are being ‘manipulated’ and ‘bullied’ into assuming a responsibility that is simply unfair.
Instead, the ACP argues, this responsibility should be given to Parish Pastoral Councils or ‘a designated Parish Committee’.
On October 1st, 2019, this organisation, the Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI), reported to Irish Bishops that the association’s own pilot research study suggested that less than one fifth of Irish parishes had effective working PPCs. ACI called on the Irish Conference of Bishops to conduct a survey to establish a complete and accurate picture of the true situation. We have not yet received a response to our submissions.